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A registration unit has been launched to speed up Irish naturalisation applications

Dublin: Justice Minister Simon Harris said that steps have been taken to speed up naturalisation applications. The minister informed this in response to a parliamentary question. The average processing time for applications is now 19 months. The minister acknowledged that this was frustrating for the applicants.

Registration Unit in Citizenship Division.

The minister stated that steps had been taken to shorten the processing time. As part of this, a registration unit was opened in the Citizenship Division earlier this year to ensure registration and approval of applications. This process took seven months in 2022. Registration can be completed in a matter of weeks using this system.

A small number of applications submitted at the end of 2022 are still to be registered, and they will be dealt with immediately, the minister said.

These measures are intended to reassure consumers that their applications have been received and that processing has begun. All naturalisation applications will be processed in the order in which they were received. The minister said that it will not be based on the date of registration.

New Score Card Online for Applicants.

Amendments have also been made to the proofs to be submitted to prove identity and residency as part of the application. For applicants, a new online score card has been introduced. This ensures preliminary application screening and application quality. Innovative steps have also been taken, such as the Tara e-chat bot, e-payments, e-tax clearance, Garda e-vetting, and the removal of the requirement to submit an original passport with the application.

The government wants to decide on all applications without delay. However, some cases may take longer to process due to the nature of the naturalisation process and other factors. According to the minister, additional tests may be required in some cases and may take some time to complete.

The minister informed that 13,613 naturalisation certificates had been issued in 2022. Of these, 1,719 have been issued to children. In 2021, 9,780 certificates were issued. This is a 39% increase, said the minister.

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